The Seed of Hope

A gift for tomorrow


Today I find myself struggling. You see, today is a day that I’ve feared coming for a long time. Today, I’ve run out of things to say. I’ve been waiting all week long for God to give me something, for Him to drop a nugget of inspiration in my mind that I can share with you. Obviously, I’m still waiting.

So why am I writing at all? I don’t know. I guess I’m hoping and praying that if I make the effort to write, that God will answer my prayer as I go.

What’s the big deal? After all, it’s not that I have to write a post this week. I’m not under contract to do so. Any writing deadlines that I have are self-imposed. I’m not gonna lose any money, because this site doesn’t generate money. I can’t get fired because, well because writing isn’t what I do for a living. So, if I miss a week, what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that The Seed of Hope is one of my passions. It’s on my top five list of things that I am absolutely, wholeheartedly, and unquestioningly devoted to doing in life.


Three of the definitions of passion offered by Merriam-Webster are:

          a: ardent affection: LOVE

          b: a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept

          c: EMOTION: intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction 

I’ve written many times, and I hope that it’s obvious to those who know me, that I have a passion for God. I can never get enough of Him in my life. My appetite for Him is insatiable. The more I feel His presence, the more I desire His presence. The more I know of Him, the more I want to know of Him. The more that He lifts me up, the higher I want to be lifted.

I, quite simply, have an obsession for God. Nothing that He has helped me to walk away from, not alcohol, or cigarettes, or pot, or cocaine, or the feelings that I got from all of them combined can come close to the unbelievable high that I get from being with the Lord. Nothing.


Funny thing about passion. It’s not something that you ask for, but something that you wake up with one morning, something that was probably there for who-knows-how-long, perhaps all your life, laying dormant in the recesses of your mind, waiting for just the right moment to boldly, audaciously, and unceremoniously announced its presence in your life.

Passion will not leave you alone. It will not let you rest. It will not let you deny its existence. It won’t even let you forget that it exists. It doesn’t even have to make sense. All it has to do is say “Hey. I’m here.”

As I’ve been sitting here praying, and asking, and waiting for God to lay something on my heart to write about, I’ve come to realize that I have a passion for The Seed of Hope. Oh, the passion doesn’t run as deep as it does for God, but it runs deep; real deep. Deeper than I even knew.

I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because The Seed of Hope is all about God. Perhaps it’s because I know that my writing is a gift from God. Perhaps it’s because in my humble attempts to plant a seed of hope in you, I find that I’m nurturing the one that God planted in me. Perhaps it’s because God has answered a burning desire that I’ve always had since I was a kid to make a difference in the world; not a huge difference, or a big difference, but just a difference.

Perhaps it was part of God’s plan for me to gripe about sitting in front of this laptop for hours on end. I’d search my heart and my mind for things to say, and then spend even more time trying to convey not just my experiences, but the emotion that went with them. There were things that I really didn’t want to reveal about myself because they were embarrassing, or painful to write about. Perhaps it was part of the plan for me to just take for granted that He’d always give me something to write about, and then to realize that, just like everything else in life, what we receive from Him is a gift.  

The Seed of Hope is one of my passions, and I’ve come to realize that it also falls into the category of what I call…

Joyful Burdens

Would you agree that life is full of burdens? It seems to me that our burdens begin the moment that we step into our classrooms in the first grade. We have to answer to an authority, and it’s not our parents. We have to get up every morning for school. We have homework. Quite often, we’re held more accountable for our actions in school than we are at home. Life begins. Real life. Life with obligations. Life with burdens.

Wouldn’t you agree that the older we get, the bigger those burdens become? With each passing year, the list of burdens that’s heaped upon us grows longer and longer. Well, there are educations, jobs, marriage, children, mortgages, and insurance. Oh, did I forget to mention food? And then there’s the financial responsibility that comes… I think you get the point, right? Burdens.

I like to break my burdens out into three categories.

The first of the three is necessary burdens, like careers, housing, and bills. I mean, we have to live, right? There are no options when it comes to necessary burdens. I’ll even include education on this list, because quite often our level of income is relative to the education that we’ve received.

Next, are joyless burdens. For many of us, joyless burdens would include things that we don’t have to do, but choose to do. Things like making up a bed each morning, or keeping a house clean, or working on an ever-growing waistline! These are things that we do, not out of necessity, but because we hold ourselves accountable for who we are, what we are, what we do, and how we do it. It’s worth mentioning here that more often than not the end result of performing the joy-less burdens is satisfaction.

Last, but not least, is my favorite burden, which I like to call joyful burdens. Joyful burdens are those that we willingly take on in our lives, even though they are at times quite heavy. Joyful burdens include, but aren’t limited to, marriages, children, and pets. (Sorry pet lovers, but I had to include that one! In my defense, we have two dogs, so take no offense.)

The point that I’m trying to make here is that if you have experienced any of the joyful burdens that I’ve listed, you can relate, right? For example, raising our two sons Brian and Christian gave me more headaches than I’d care to remember, but there are few things in this world that have put more joy in my heart than my sons; I couldn’t imagine my life without either of them.

Being a Christian is certainly a joyful burden, but that’s a topic best saved for another day.

Just like serving the Lord, The Seed of Hope is one of my joyful burdens. Finding time to write each week may present a challenge, and I may indeed gripe about it once in awhile, but the thought of it coming to an end was really sobering for me. It’s not something that I want to put down, and I hope that God is reading this, because I treasure it and don’t want Him to take this gift away.

Why not?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Seed of Hope is not about Sam Maniscalco; it’s about God. It’s about the Holy Spirit. It’s about Jesus. It’s not about what I write; it’s about what He puts on my mind and in my heart. It’s that prayerfully, and hopefully, God is using me to make a difference in your life.

And sometimes I struggle.

God willing, I’ll “see” you next week.      


Melinda West wrote on 01/14/11 3:38 PM

Well, he gave you something to write about after all. He gave you a gift this week after all. :) melinda
peggi wrote on 01/14/11 5:41 PM

He answers all prayers, even the ones about our joyful burdens! thanks for your faithfulness. this always gives me food for meditation. may He continue to bless you in all you do.
T wrote on 01/14/11 6:05 PM

Thank you for taking off/putting on the gloves again in this weeks message. Love you more than words express Sam.
Susan wrote on 01/14/11 8:16 PM

Thank you for writing again this week despite your struggles. I have been following your blog for almost a year now, a year of struggles . . .so your message this week especially resonated with me. Keep up the good work, Sam(Gal. 6:4).
Mary Hamel wrote on 01/15/11 1:18 AM

God did it AGAIN! It gets better and better! Thank you!
Susan Hughes wrote on 01/15/11 10:12 AM

I can so relate to that hunger for God in you Sam, that never seems to be satiated and that is good. I never want to lose that hunger, "The more I feel His presence, the more I desire His presence. The more I know of Him, the more I want to know of Him. The more that He lifts me up, the higher I want to be lifted" Amen! In that struggle to find something to say Sam, God came through once more because it was a case of moving out of our earthly way of thinking "can't think of thing to say" into a heavenly one which is - God take over and do it through Your strength and not ours. It's called surrender. The more we surrender the easier it becomes and the more we flow in, with and through the Holy Spirit the more powerful the message becomes. Amen! God Bless.
Susie Mc Sellers wrote on 01/17/11 1:36 PM

Thank our FATHER that He has given you and I the JOYFUL BURDENS of SEED OF HOPE and SUSIE MC's VERSE AND MESSAGE!! Isn't God so cool like that...a joyful burden is something that we are gifted with, but may not always come easy. I like to think when something becomes a burden, God is working double-time to reach others through us! Bring it on Sam! May God continue to flood you with His immeasurable love and favor in this ministry and in and through all the areas of your life! Thank you....your message is so encouraging to me. Just wait til you see what I have done with my JOYFUL BURDEN.... :)

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